On May 27th the Bendigo Mountain Bike Club hosted its 3rd annual Women’s & Girls Mountain Bike Challenge.
In the first two years this event attracted 40 participants and this year we saw a huge step up to 110 women and girls participating, it was definitely the biggest and best yet!
The event is the brain child of the Bendigo Clubs Committee Members; the two Jo’s, one a Pro and one an amateur wanting to offer something different to women to get them on their bikes.
Our club has been very supportive in getting this event up and going, recognising the importance of providing opportunities for women and girls to participate in mountain biking activities.
Female members in our club currently an sit at 11% of our total membership base, which is a mere 20 women/girls! We had a great turn out of club members, predominately males, to volunteer on the day and help with the running of the event.
The event was held at the Clubs home; The Trail Head Pavilion on Wattle Drive, Spring Gully. With the emphasis on ‘challenge’ the event is all about Women and Girl’s of all ages having a go. The event is a relay marathon event riding a 6km loop as many times as you like or can over a 2 or 3 hour period. You can race it like a pro or ride it like you’re looking for coffee, the most important part of the event is that you have FUN!
Along with the backing of our club, MTBA have been integral to this events success with granting it ‘Come and Try Status’. Having this support allowed us to keep our entry fees low at $20 without the need for non members to purchase a day licence, which would have instantly doubled the cost.
Women don’t need any additional barriers to take part in MTB events, 55 of our 110 entrants were non members, so its great to be able to reach out to these women and make the experience accessible for them.
This year we were fortunate enough to gain some generous sponsorship from ‘The Bendigo Club’, Bendigo Cycles, Yogaharra, Gravity Oz & Fusion Physio just to name a few. We had an impressive prize pool of just over $5,000 worth of prizes on offer including the opportunity to win a Specialized Mountain Bike for all online entrants.
Having wrapped up this year’s event we have now secured our date for next year’s Women’s and Girls MTB Challenge, Sunday the 26th of May 2019. So ladies, put this one in your calendar as it is bound to be bigger and better next year!
Photo Credit: Wayne Halliday
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